Encyclopedia > Writ of Certiorari

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Writ of Certiorari

The United States Supreme Court grants a writ of certorari (abbreviated in spoken language to "writ of cert") when it agrees to hear a case other than one that the law requires it to hear if appealed.

Four justices must vote to grant a writ of certorari. The great majority of cases that cases are denied hearing at the Supreme Court level, because the Supreme Court is generally careful to choose only cases in which it has jurisdiction and in which the matter merits its review (those questions are themselves often matters of debate).

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